By Demola Akinyemi
The Nigeria Customs Service Coordinator, of Joint Border Operations Drill, for North Central, states, Comptroller Mohammed Garba, has said that over 10,000 bags of imported rice have been intercepted while 204 illegal migrants were repatriated during the period under review, including 99 Nigeriens, 100 Beniniose, three Malians, and two Chinese.
Garuba who said this at a press conference in Ilorin noted that the joint operation exercise between August 2019 and now has drastically reduced smuggling in the zonal areas and also improved the economy of the country.
He said that the feat was made possible because many illegal border routes were blocked, adding that fight against smuggling and illegal importation was intensified to encourage local agricultural production.
The Customs boss said: “204 illegal migrants were repatriated during the period under review, including 99 Nigeriens, 100 Beniniose, three Malians, and two Chinese.”
The joint border drill, consisting of security agencies such as the Immigration, Police, Army, Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Customs and DSS, stressed that a total number of 10,000 bags of smuggled rice were seized since the operation started.
The Customs boss, who said that the border closure was not targeted at anyone, individual, group of persons or any community, added that it is for the protection of the nation’s economy.
He said that “It is no longer news that the Federal Government on the 20th of August, 2019 to be precise, partially closed all land borders for the betterment of the nation’s economy, the security of the citizen and for our neighbouring countries to abide by ECOWAS protocols
“Since August last year when we started operations, we have increased revenue and we are not relenting”.
Garba also said that the zone had seized a total number of 10,201 foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each with Duty paid Value of N173, 417,000.00 equal to 12 trailers of rice since the operations started.
He added, “Also seized are 52 different types of Used Vehicles, Trucks, Trailers
and other vehicles used for conveying Contraband goods with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N 88, 854, 500.
“561 drums of Petrol with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N9,480,000.00)
“1,670 tablets of Tramadol of 200mg each and Two Packs of Rebozel Drugs containing 500 tablets each with a cost value of N 165,000,000 (The said drugs were handed over to NAFDAC).
“1,524 Jerricans of petrol with Duty Paid Value of N12, 633,250.00.
“11 Motorcycles used to conveyed Smuggled goods with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N950, 000.00.
“94 pieces of Poisonous Charlie Toothpaste with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N 33, 840, 00.
“68 Tins of Jago Condensed Milk with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N65,280.00.
“80 pieces of washing Soap with Duty Paid Value of N 9,600.
“128 pieces of poisonous “Read a Dream” Insecticide with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N92,160.00,” he said.